07 September 2017

On This Day, 7 September 1764

The location of Anton on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
The Reformed Lutheran colony of Anton was founded on this day, 7 September 1764. It was a Crown colony originally made up of 63 families, natives of Isenburg, Palatinate, Hessen and Denmark. It was one of the first five Volga Mother colonies founded in 1764 along with Dobrinka (29 June), Beideck (10 August), Galka (12 August) and Schilling (14 August)

The road to Anton, July 2017.
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin. View his full gallery of Anton for more beautiful photos

Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.
According to The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present, "Sugar beets were raised to meet domestic needs. The settlers processed them into a syrup that served as a sweetener for many cooking purposes. A sugar-beet factory was established in Anton on the Bergseite, reportedly as early as 1815, which operated on a commercial scale for sixty years before beet-production problems closed down the venture."  The author, Fred C. Koch, goes on to state that in 1889, beet growing had begun in Nebraska by Volga immigrants.

House and garden in Anton.
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin. 
At least two sources attribute Anton's sugar beet factory's existence to twin German artists, Karl and Gerhardt Kügelgen. However, I've not been able to verify it through biographies of either men, neither of which lived in or seem to have ties to Russia outside the art world.  The surname does appear in Anton village data around the time of the establishment of the beet factory.  If anyone can provide verification or additional information, I'll gladly update this post.

The photos of Anton in this post are courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.  Check out his full photo gallery of Anton from July 2017. 

The former church in Anton.  Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.

Location of the Volga colony Anton, known today as Sadovoye, Saratov, Russia.

Learn More: 
The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present.  Fred C. Koch. 1977.  The Pennsylvania State University Press. P. 57 and 214.
Photos of Anton by Vladimir Kakorin
2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg. They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.